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Can DirecTV take money from my bank account even though I have never had a contract with them?

Modesto, CA |

I live in CA and had an ex living with me that signed up for DirecTV at the house we shared, but the service was entirely in her name. She had lost her job and ran out of unemployment by October '08 so I paid that month's bill with my bank card. This is the only time I paid for her service. In doing my income taxes for the 2009 year, I found that DirecTV had done a "pinless debit" for over $700. I called my bank to challenge but it has been more than 60 days. Should I call them directly to challenge this charge, or do I need to sue them in small claims court? I am out of contact with the ex, so getting the money from her is not possible.

I only paid for the service for one month when my ex was unable to herself, and my name has never been on the contract. She paid for the service for another 3 months until we separated and she moved out in January '09, at which time she took all the equipment with her. The charges appeared in March '09, and I believe they are fees for the unreturned equipment due to the fact that the monthly contract was only $130 and had been paid up to at least January. Does paying for one month for someone else's contract automatically make me liable for these charges if the contract holder does not pay?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. If I understand your question, your problem is that you paid for the service for many months, and didn't cancel it. Their argument will be that you had an "implied in fact" contract, based on their conduct of supplying the service and your conduct of knowingly paying for it one month, and thereafter accepting it, so your payment for it is fair.

    If you tried to cancel the service and weren't able to, or they billed you for months that you didn't get the service, the answer would be different.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.